New Digg: For Better or Worse?

by: Bradley Wint on April 4th, 2010 at 2:42 am

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Recently, Digg CEO Jay Adelson announced that a new and very different Digg was coming. According to him, the Digg we know it today is basically coming to an end. No longer will the very few like MrBabyMan, Burento or badwithcomputer rule the front page, nor will a few big sites get the benefits of the short but harsh traffic blast front page stories usually receive.

According to Adelson, one of the major changes is allowing users from many social sites to access their service via login protocols. This means if you are a Twitter, Facebook or OpenID user, you can quickly set up a profile and submit stories. Also, folks submitting news are not even required to have user accounts to submit. This alone tells us plainly that amassing a huge list of faithful followers won’t help you get a quick hot story (it might still but the leverage seems more balanced now).

They have also expanded their category base into the limitless region. Instead of having a few topics to stick in various stories, users can create almost any new category to perfectly file their newly created stories (something like Squidoo and StumbleUpon). The leaderboard will also be making a return, but focusing on highlighting the more popular niche categories and trusted users, rather than who can submit the most popular stories. Users will also be able to personalize their page to view stories from selected categories, so you can see what you want to see rather than a bunch of popular nonsense.

From a publisher perspective, they have gone from banning users for self promoting their personal sites, to implementing company profiles similar to those on Facebook and Twitter. Going back to the traffic issue, the new personalized approach promises a more balanced traffic load from users who will be most likely interested in what someone’s site has to offer. So rather than a story hitting the front page, getting 50,000 hits in under an hour and then disappearing forever, the story will show up on various users’ pages where it best matches, sitting there longer allowing users to take the time to read the stories and what not.

Another major featured in the one-click Digg button. Usually when you have to updigg a story, you’d click the button on the particular website, get taken to the Digg page where it either is dugg or has to be dugg depending on the functionality of the button. The new button (already implemented on our site) allows you to digg via a small pop-up without diverting from the original site. Pretty cool feature.

So… will this new Digg work or not? I personally like the idea, and some how I don’t see why it should be nothing more than a success. Reddit follows a somewhat similar concept but on a more generic level by having multiple categories. However, the bigger categories always allows stories to get more popular, while lesser popular categories don’t. Since they also have the same front page approach though, it’s still like Digg with a quick burst of useless traffic.

When Facebook’s Fan Pages were uses properly (not making a bunch of random groups), they worked decently well at bringing in traffic as well for web admins, so I don’t see why things would be any different for Digg. The obvious opposition comes from the users who “control” Digg’s front page, but assuming they were to strike and not submit news, others will. In an effort to do viral marketing, webmasters from around the globe will use just about any social tool to bring in hits. Also with the new achievement system planned, others may feel compelled to submit general stories.

On the flip side, I feel that the less popular niches will fall to the way side, while the more popular topics like technology, autos, finance and so on will do well. However, since we do not know how the system works, let’s wait and see.

Reference: Mashable

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